LCWR Statement on the Violence in Lebanon, Israel and Gaza
SILVER SPRING, MD July 26, 2006---The Leadership Conference of
Women Religious, a national organization of 850 leaders of communities
of Catholic sisters calls for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire
by the Israeli army and the Hezbollah militia currently engaged
in violent combat in Lebanon, Israel and Gaza.
We condemn Hezbollah’s deliberate invasion of Israeli borders,
the abduction of two Israeli soldiers and the targeting of Israeli
citizens. The Hezbollah militia, which does not act in the name
of the Lebanese government, has gravely endangered the citizens
of Lebanon, the young, fragile democracy of that nation, and the
infrastructure that supports the country.
We condemn the disproportionate response of Israel, killing and
wounding hundreds of citizens of Lebanon, and inflicting massive
damage on the essential infrastructure of that country. We concur
with the Vatican’s Secretary of State, Cardinal Angelo Sodano
who stated that: “Defense by a state is not exempt from
abidance by the norms of international law, especially as regards
the safeguarding of civilian populations.” We also condemn
Israel’s continued military actions against the Palestinian
civilians of Gaza.
As citizens of the United States we acknowledge with profound
regret that our nation’s pre-emptive attack on Iraq, the
occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan by US-led forces, carried out
with little understanding of the region’s history or its
culture has greatly inflamed hostilities throughout the Middle
East and contributed significantly to the present crisis.
We call on President George W. Bush and his administration to
stop its obstructionist postures and delaying tactics at the United
Nations and within the international community. The deliberate
postponement of any efforts to bring the violence to an immediate
halt before beginning diplomatic negotiations prolongs the terrible
suffering of the Lebanese and Israeli peoples and worsens an already
horrific humanitarian crisis. We call upon the members of congress
to act decisively and immediately mandate that the United States
join with the international community to end the violence now.
We commit ourselves and the members of our religious communities
to exercise all of our rights and duties as citizens to urge our
leaders to act as responsible members of the world community.
We join our prayer with religious people of all faiths who long
for peace, who believe in a God of peace, and who are working
to make God’s dream for a world at peace a reality.